Reviewed on Apr 27, 2016

Sennheiser HD 201 HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3
5.3
Mixed Usage
6.6
Neutral Listening
4.7
Commute/Travel
5.6
Sports/Fitness
5.4
Office
4.1
Wireless Gaming
5.9
Wired Gaming
1.7
Phone Call
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : No
Transducer : Dynamic

The Sennheiser HD 201 are below-average headphones that feel cheaply made and have an unexciting sound. They only passively isolate, which lets noise seep into your audio in loud environments and on noisy commutes. However, they will remain stable on your head even during physical activity.

Test Results
Design 5.8
Isolation 4.0
Microphone 0
Active Features 0
Connectivity 3.6
Pros
  • Stable fit.
  • lightweight, decently comfortable design.
  • Low leakage.
Cons
  • Poor isolation.
  • Flimsy, all-plastic build.
  • Bass lacking sound reproduction.
  • Noticeable harmonic distortion.
  • Bass delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
  1. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  2. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  3. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

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5.8

Design

The Sennheiser HD 201 are very stable headphones that feel comfortable and do not apply much pressure to the head. Sadly, the all-plastic build quality and weak hinges may not last as long as other headphones. They have no control options for your audio, and the cable is non-detachable. They also look a little bland aesthetically.

Style

The Sennheiser HD 201, have a studio appeal that's a little bland but works for some. They have a black color scheme with gray accents on the back of the oval ear cups. They are not too bulky and look somewhat high-end even with their all-plastic build.

7.0 Comfort
Weight : 0.41 lbs
Clamping Force
:
0.69 lbs

The HD 201 are lightweight and do not apply much pressure to the head. The oval ear cups are large enough to fit well around the most listener's ears. Unfortunately, they do not have enough padding on the headband and the ear cups, which reduces their level of comfort.

0 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Ease of use : N/A
Feedback : N/A
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : No
Microphone Control : N/A
Channel Mixing
:
N/A
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A
7.0 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 4.1 C
5.6 Portability
L : 7.48 "
W : 6.69 "
H : 3.15 "
Volume : 157.64 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Sennheiser are not the most portable headphones. They are mid-sized over-ear headphones but do not fold up into a smaller format for easy transport or lay flat to take up less space. They will fit in a backpack but are little too cumbersome for handbags and purses and will not fit into most pockets, even larger jacket pockets. They also don't come with a case or pouch which is disappointing.

0 Case
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A
5.5 Build Quality

The Sennheiser HD 201 do not feel durable. The all plastic design is a little cheap, and the swivel hinges look weak. On the upside, the headband and ear cups use slightly denser plastic, which should be able to handle a few drops, without damage.

7.5 Stability

The HD 201 are very stable headphones. Once on the head they barely move even during physical activities like jogging. They maintain their position extremely well during casual listening sessions, and although they are not designed for use while doing sports, they will not slide off your ears easily even after a violent shake. Unfortunately, the cord is not detachable, which may pull the headphones off your head if ever it gets hooked on something.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

They have a very good Bass, a decent Mid Range and an average Treble. However, their Bass delivery is quite inconsistent and could vary noticeably from person to person. Also, their Mid Range is overemphasized and their Treble tends to sound forward and sharp. Additionally, they have a mediocre Soundstage and poor distortion performance which could make their sound harsh and brittle.

Sound Profile
Neutral
:
6.8
Bass-Heavy
:
2.8
Warm
:
7.6
Bright
:
5.1
7.1 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
1.72 db
Dips
:
1.92 db
6.4 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.79 dB

The frequency response consistency of the HD 201 is mediocre. These headphones showed about 6dB of deviation in bass delivery across our 5 human subjects. This is significant and noticeable, however, their treble delivery is decently consistent.

6.8 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.16
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
2.49
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
3.66
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
13.4
5.5 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
3.45 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
0.62 dB
PRTF Distance
:
9.96 dB
Openness
:
9.0
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
3.7
7.5 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.200
WHD @ 100
:
0.229
4.0

Isolation

These headphones isolate passively, which means they do not actively cancel any ambient noise that seeps into the ear cups. Although the ear cups' seal around the ear is decent, it's not sufficient to block the level of ambient noise in loud environments like in a train or plane. They are not ideal for commuting or traveling but won't disturb people around you too much because of their relatively low leakage.

2.6 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-7.23 dB
Bass
:
0.32 dB
Mid
:
-0.36 dB
Treble
:
-21.39 dB

Poor isolation. These non-noise cancelling headphones don't isolate any sound below 1KHz. The passive isolation provided by the ear cups is also below average. It starts to kick-in around 1KHz, reaching the maximum of -30dB at 6KHz.

6.8 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
40.53 dB

Decent leakage. The majority of the leakage is happening in the mid and treble regions, spanning from 500Hz-3KHz. Although this range is rather broad, the overall level of the leakage is not too loud.

0

Microphone

Integrated
:
N/A
In-line
:
N/A
Boom
:
N/A
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
0 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
N/A
LFE
:
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
:
N/A
HFE
:
N/A
Weighted THD
:
N/A
Gain
:
N/A
0 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise : N/A
Speech + Subway Noise : N/A
SpNR
:
N/A
0

Active Features

No active features.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Continuous Battery Life
:
N/A
Additional Charges
:
N/A
Total Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
Charging Port : N/A
0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
Mac OS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

No compatible app.

3.6

Connectivity

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Default Latency
:
N/A
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A
0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
9.0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
Detachable : No
Length : 8.40 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
:
0 ms
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox Analog
:
Audio Only
Xbox Wired USB
:
No
Xbox Wireless
:
No
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A

In the box

  • Sennheiser HD 201 Headphones
  • 1/8" to 1/4" Adapter

Compared to other Headphones

5.3 Mixed Usage

The HD 201 below-average everyday headphones. They lack a lot of features and have an uneven, bass-lacking sound. They also struggle in loud environments.

6.6 Neutral Listening

Average for neutral listening. They sound a bit uneven and poorly balanced. Their closed-back design also limits their soundstage which is not ideal for neutral listening. However, for their price range, they have a sufficiently good audio reproduction for most casual listeners.

4.7 Commute/Travel

Not suitable for commuting. The poor passive isolation is not enough for loud environments. They're also a little flimsy and lack a few features for frequent commuters.

5.6 Sports/Fitness

Below-average for sports. They're lightweight and surprisingly stable. However they're a bit too bulky, and the long cable is cumbersome.

5.4 Office

Below-average for office use. They don't leak much but poorly isolate listeners. So the chatter of a busy office will seep into your audio.

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